Ocean News

The Lakes and Oceans, to Scale

10th April 2012

Getting a sense of the scales involved when thinking about ocean depths can be tricky – we simply aren’t well-equipped to imagine scales which we don’t encounter in everyday life.

Luckily, everyone’s favorite web comic xkcd has decided to put things in perspective. How does the maximum SCUBA diving depth record compare to a nuclear submarine’s depth rating? How deep can sperm whales dive in comparison? And how does the world’s deepest lake, lake Baikal, fare when placed side-by-side with oceanic depths?

Here’s a bit of trivia xkcd didn’t cover that can help put things in perspective – the deepest point in the sea, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, is 10,902 meters (35,768 feet) below sea level. This also happens to be the cruising altitude of modern passenger aircraft. So next time you look out your airplane window in mid-flight and see the ground, imagine that same distance under the sea…

Click here to see the full-size image!